Is it worth it to become a diesel mechanic?

Discussion in 'Heavy Duty Diesel Truck Mechanics Forum' started by Jbrow327, Dec 7, 2021.

  1. Jbrow327

    Jbrow327 Light Load Member

    Sep 28, 2019
    I am thinking of enrolling in my local community college for diesel mechanics. It's either diesel mechanics, driving, or doing something in IT.
    1. Do you recommend becoming a diesel mechanic? How hard is it on the body? (I'm 30 and obese. Need to lose 100 to 120 pounds.)
    2. How many thousands in tools do you have? Does more than half the money you earn go to tools?
    3. How is the salary and job in general compared to driving?
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  3. Diesel Dave

    Diesel Dave Last Few of the OUTLAWS

    Jan 20, 2010
    Hesperia, Ca.
    @kemosabi49 , @REO6205 can you merge all these thread this member is starting in different sections into one ?
  4. Happily Retired

    Happily Retired Road Train Member

    Apr 16, 2014
    high plains colorado
    Well, I can honestly say, in all my years, I don't remember too many overweight diesel mechanics. If you sit at a bench and rebuild fuel pumps, maybe, but being a truck or heavy equipment wrench, is a lot of climbing, moving around, the stuff weighs a ton. Tools are a huge expense, but you should only have to buy most of that stuff once, and every career has it's "start up costs". Heavy equipment mechanics are probably the most sought after workers today. Used to be, any farmer could be a mechanic, but that's not true today, and only dedicated individuals succeed. I'm not sure about pay, probably equal to most service jobs, you might make more as a driver but one important plus, as a wrench, you'll have a job for life guaranteed. It would be refreshing to be on the other side of the trucking repair madness, as the driver nervously looks on as their profits for the month dwindle to zilch, and you go looking at new pickups. Your choice.
    Bean Jr. Thanks this.
  5. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    So far he's not breaking any forum rules but if he continues to add more threads to the forum and he's obviously spamming we'll deal with him.

    In the meantime just put him on IGNORE and you won't see any of his posts. Thanks.
    Heavyd and Diesel Dave Thank this.
  6. Smellfunny

    Smellfunny Road Train Member

    Jan 28, 2012
    South Carolina
    It is hard work but good work. Large size is not good. I am 5'9" 205 Lbs and I wish I was 180. You will be dirty and tired that is for sure. Getting around certain areas of the truck will be difficult. I am average size (I guess) and I had a difficult time getting in some areas not counting standing on my head from time to time. I had some skin cancer on my nose a few years ago and the doctor told me that after I was stitched up that I could not do any heavy lifting for a week or so. I said ok then he handed me a sheet that said nothing over 10 lbs. I told him that I was thinking nothing over 100 Lbs. I guess his heavy and my heavy were way different.
  7. jamespmack

    jamespmack Road Train Member

    Mar 25, 2014
    If your any good its a great job. If your not it will be a struggle. I was working on them as a kid for my dad. Didnt wanna drive. At 31 I was topped out pay for my area. Went owner op, which really wasn't a dream since I was alittle child. I'm 41 running my own equipment with my name on the door. I was very hard on my body the first part of life. In the end my past experience helps me now. I work on my own stuff, and still select customers. You have to put your time in and get education and experience. A trade school is great, but don't replace experience. Both together make a education.

    I'll leave you with this. You can make money working for someone else. But you won't get wealthy. And I'm not talking about just money.
  8. Dale thompson

    Dale thompson Road Train Member

    Nov 20, 2013
    commerce twp,mi
    My oldest son is a diesel tech at the top of his game and almost writes his own ticket. He always has 2 offers in front of him.
    Mattflat362 Thanks this.
  9. God prefers Diesels

    God prefers Diesels Road Train Member

    Jun 26, 2020
    South Texas
    "But doc, how am I supposed to take a leak??"
    Opus and Smellfunny Thank this.
  10. Smellfunny

    Smellfunny Road Train Member

    Jan 28, 2012
    South Carolina
    Exactly. : )
    God prefers Diesels Thanks this.
  11. Val_Caldera

    Val_Caldera Medium Load Member

    Apr 2, 2021
    Greensboro, NC
    Like the saying: "YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU CAN DO UNTIL YOU TRY (give a GO)!!"

    Specializing in one area, after initial Training Period Including Schooling, will boost your Education and Experience.
    Tools and Tool (Train) Box(es) Will Be The Largest Purchase during/after Schooling.
    States Pay For Schooling, so Check Into It!
    Check with your local Employment Office!

    I gave a go at Wrenching on Trucks/Trailers in 2003 at age 45.
    Took a Local Community College course for a Year on the States Dime.
    Ended up at a Mail Carrier Shop repairing some OLD Equipment while attending Schooling.
    There was a guy in his latter 20's and appeared overweight at the Mail Carrier Shop yet he wasn't put off by his size nor was he scared to LEARN.

    Most of what I did was BRAKES on (older) Trailers with DAYTON WHEELS (Split Ring) and a LOT of Oil Services as well Fueling incoming Trucks, on 3rd shift, Solo.

    It was very interesting.

    Still have all the Air Tools and Tool Boxes, just no Air Compressor.
    - - - -
    There ARE Worse Venues In Trucking Than Becoming/Being A Wrench!!
    - - - -
    There's A LOT MORE SCANNING WITH COMPUTERS than the Older Days of Diagnosing with a Stethoscope and/or Wrench Combination or Guessing.
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